In A Nutshell
Title: And Be a Villain (A Nero Wolfe Mystery Book 13)
Author: Rex Stout
Publisher: Crimeline/Random House
Date of Release: 1948
Rating: 2 Nuts out of 5
Rex Stout is one of my “go-to” authors when I can’t decide what to read next. I love the characters of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin and rather enjoy the other characters in Wolfe’s household and entourage as well. But And Be a Villain just did not hold my interest.
It’s a great tale of blackmail and revenge and twisted minds (it is part of the Zeck trilogy if you’re into Nero Wolfe that deeply), but the characters are not as developed as usual and it’s all about Nero and Archie. While other characters have roles, they are much smaller than usual or even some are non-existent. It’s like there was a supporting character strike and Rex Stout wrote around them.
I’m just not feeling this one. I still love the series and Rex Stout will always be a “go-to” author for me, but And Be a Villain isn’t one of his best.
Have a great week anyway!